So...You Want to Be a Hacker?
If you are reading this , you too probably aspire to become a hacker. That's good. Hacking is rapidly becoming one of the most sought after skill sets by IT security firms, pentesters, militaries, spy and espionage organizations, and military contractors. Right now, most of these organizations cannot get enough well-trained hackers, so now is a great time to train as a hacker. That having been said, let's take a moment to look at what makes a good hacker.
The route to becoming a hacker is not an easy one. Some newbies to this field think that all need is some magic "hacking tool" and you can simply hack into any computer. That's far from the truth.
Unlike other IT professions, a great hacker needs to understand most of the information technology disciplines including networking, databases, operating systems, web serving, scripting, cryptography, etc. In addition, the hacker needs to have functional knowledge of multiple operating systems including Linux, Mac OS and Windows. This may take years of experience and/or study. Then, after learning how these various information technology systems WORK, you then need to focus on how to BREAK them. This may require additional training and experience.
Hacking is NOT like other areas of IT. In most IT disciplines, you learn that if you do this... and then that... and then that, the system does what you want. That is NOT usually the case with hacking! Good hackers have to think outside the box or tablet. You have to think about how you can make a system work in ways it was NOT designed to work. We need to understand intimately how systems work, so that we can make them operate in ways that their developers never intended!
It also important to note that not every hack works every time. Depending upon the circumstances, a hack might work now and then not work a short time later. We need to then figure what changed and then re-attempt the hack in a different way. In addition, a hack might work once and then never work again. For instance, if you are trying to remote code execution, this usually requires a buffer overflow. When the buffer is overflowed, it sometimes can become damaged and will not work properly again. In that case, you only get one shot to hack the system.
Hackers must be also be creative. If you expect a cookbook on how to get something done, this is probably not the profession to you. There are good tools available to you, but a good hacker often needs to be creative on how to use them or even tweak them for a specific task.
So...if you want to be a hacker, Null Byte is a good place to start, but it won't be easy. If you put in the time, study and work, though, this can be one of the most fascinating and financially rewarding professions in the world!